Dislike my Misono Swedish Gyuto - Looking for recommendations

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by Jay MacCallum, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. Jay MacCallum

    Jay MacCallum

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    Hi everyone,

    When it comes time for potatoes, peppers, and larger items, I need to grab my Misono 240mm gyuto, or my 170mm Blue#2 Moritaka Santoku. I remember when I first bought my Misono, everyone told said that you use a Gyuto for 80%+ of tasks, and that 240mm was DEFINITELY the way to go. Well, all I have to say is that is wrong - for me at least given the knives I have. Is it because I hate the knife? Is 240mm too long for me? Would 210mm be more comfortable for me? Do I dislike western style handles?

    I also find I can't get my Misono nearly as sharp as my Moritaka, which cuts peppers and onions like BUTTER. My Gesshin Ginga 150mm stainless petty also cuts without effort, but the Misono requires some decent downward force. It wedges. The spine and choil are razor sharp and give me calluses if I prep for a 1/2 hr. It actually doesn't react as badly as its reputation would tell you, but I find myself reaching for one of the other two knives, if I can.

    And that's a shame. I love the look of the knife, but DAMN is it uncomfortable to hold. I know I could relieve it, but I'm lazy.

    So, now I'm looking for a new Gyuto. I have a few criteria/wants:
    - Wa handle
    - Carbon steel, preferably san-mai for reduced maintenance
    - Relieved spine/choil
    - Not overly flat profile (I chop infrequently. Usually push cut, some pull cut, rock with garlic/herbs)
    - Budget of $200-$300 USD

    Based on this, the knives that really seem to pop out are Kochi 240mm Gyuto (Either Kurouchi or Migaki) or Masakage Yuki 240mm. I'm a little worried about thin those knives are, but I'm looking for other recommendations and would like to hear peoples opinions. I've bought from Jon before and loved the experience.

    Other things to note:
    - Live in Canada, but have PO box in Niagara Falls, USA
    - Right-handed
    - Pinch grip
    - Home cook. make 4-5 meals a week at home
    - Lots of meat and veggies. I was considering buying a 270mm Suji, but I figured I should LOVE my gyuto first. In summer I do a lot of BBQ, so meat butchery is common
    - Have 1.5k and 5k stones
    - My Moritaka leaves a brownish color on onions when I cut them. That's probably just because I need to force a patina, but guidance on that would help!

    Thanks!!
     
  2. mike9

    mike9

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  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    These comments make me think the Misono needs thinning behind the edge also.

    You might have the thinning and spine crowning done by someone else for quite a bit less than a new knife in this class.

    I'd give that a go first personally. But then Misono is a knife on my personal shortlist and you have direct experience I lack.
     
  4. Jay MacCallum

    Jay MacCallum

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    That's a good point. It does feel very hefty, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be able to blow through product!

    I've taken a look at the Tanaka Nashiji B2 and it does look quite nice - I've just heard of some QC issues
     
  5. benuser

    benuser

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    Sorry to hear you don't like the Dragon. Please be aware it needs a good sharpening before first use. It comes with an overly convexed edge. That's why I usually suggest the initial stone sharpening offered by Korin.
    You should get rid of that factory edge. Not much work. If you want suggestions on how to proceed, let it know.
    The sharp spine is easily remediated with a few strokes of coarse sandpaper.
    With a new knife I make sure not to use any other for a few days to get used to it.
     
  6. Jay MacCallum

    Jay MacCallum

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    I've sharpened it 2-3 times - not touch-ups, but fully run through the stones. I can't imagine the factory edge is there at all. I sharpened my petty, bunka and the dragon all at the same time. All passed paper test but the other two just appear to be so much sharper when cutting.

    Maybe I should take it to a professional sharpener and thin out the edge a bit?
     
  7. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Did you buy the misono new? Was it thick out of the box? Carbon steel you can thin yourself easier than stainless. Thinning isn't hard at all, you can try it yourself if you have coarse stones. Then run it up your stone progression so the scratches get smaller and smaller. Personally, in the case of a fully reactive carbon knife like this, I don't really care what the finish looks like that much, it's going to patina anyway. As long as the scratch pattern is even, I'm okay with it.
     
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  8. benuser

    benuser

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    Only a sharpener who works on stones and respects the Dragon's asymmetry.
    Use the marker trick and you will probably see the factory edge is still left as a kind of neglected micro-bevel.
     
  9. Jay MacCallum

    Jay MacCallum

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    Yes, this was bought new. My most coarse stone is 1500 grit, so I'll either need to buy a 400 grit and learn, or pay someone. Neither one is a big deal.
     
  10. benuser

    benuser

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    Not difficult at all to sharpen out that poor factory edge. Put a conservative straight edge on the left side, say at 16 degrees or so, go on til you have a burr, than start on the right side at the lowest possible angle; create a convex right bevel ending at some 12 degrees. Sounds complicated but is quite simple and fast with this steel. Just a few strokes.
     
  11. rick alan

    rick alan

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    I never heard of the Dragon being thick behind the edge, and it is known to take a wicked edge and also not very hard steel, should be very easy to sharpen, unless you got some kind of dud.

    The King 300 is a great beginner's coarse stone, $25 and splash and go too. Leaves a scratch pattern you can get out easy enough with your 1500.

    The Tanaka Mike mentions is a great knife, but I have heard bad about Metal Master lately, there is always JNS and Knives and Stones though.
     
  12. Jay MacCallum

    Jay MacCallum

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    Thanks for the input guys. I'm not a very experienced sharpener, so I may not be doing the Misono justice with its asymmetrical edge. Is it common for people to bring it to 50/50, or does the knife truly shine because of the asymmetry?

    This knife really is a beast, so thinning it may kind of defeat the purpose of the knife. However, the wedging issue right now is annoying!
     
  13. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Thin it, 50/50 is okay.
     
  14. benuser

    benuser

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    I respectfully disagree. By putting a 50/50 edge on a strongly asymmetric blade you should expect crazy steering and wedging issues after a few sharpenings.
    Sharpening is not putting an edge at the end of a piece of steel. You want the blade's geometry to continue in the edge. That's why I suggested to give it a convex bevel on the right side, after starting at the lowest possible angle.
    A very thin left bevel will result, as the edge is strongly off-centered to the left. A high angle a on the left side will somewhat balance friction on both sides and limit steering.
    After a few symmetric sharpenings I guess best thing is to send the blade to Mr Martell or Mr Broida.
     
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  15. benuser

    benuser

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    Choil shot of a yo-deba. Your gyuto is much thinner but basically has the same asymmetry.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Well yes, proper sharpening is better than having to use the knife differently from others to correct for steering.
     
  17. benuser

    benuser

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    One more remark: when you only sharpen the very edge, the area behind it will thicken very quickly. Some common figures: right above the edge thickness is 0.2mm; at 5mm from there it is 0.5mm.
    So, all reason to start sharpening at a very low angle behind the edge, and only raise the spine little by little until the very edge has been reached. Verify by looking at the scratch pattern or use the marker trick. Here an illustration of what happens without thinning.
    [​IMG]
    Especially good to know for users of jig systems.